DECATUR — Police said three men who had burglarized a Decatur video gambling parlor were still busy counting out the loot when officers drove up and arrested them.
Antwain E. Johnson, 32, Leonde D. Johnson, 41, and Danny L. Norman, 32, were taken into custody in Springfield at 4:30 a.m. Friday, several hours before Decatur police were alerted at 7:17 a.m. and began investigating a break-in at Lacey’s Place, 985 W. Pershing Road.
The affidavit said power to Lacey's Place was disabled, there were signs of forced entry to the front door and a “large amount” of cash was stolen from an ATM.
Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office deputies made the arrests after being tipped off about suspicious activity on an empty lot in the 1200 block of North Oaklane Road in Springfield.
“The call indicated several subjects in a black sport utility vehicle were counting U.S. currency,” said a sworn affidavit from Decatur police officer Bryan Kaylor. “Sangamon County sheriff’s deputies observed a large amount of U.S. currency inside the vehicle.”
Deputies contacted the Springfield Police Department and then turned the suspects over to the city police after hearing they were wanted in connection with multiple burglaries, the affidavit said. Springfield detectives questioned the suspects about why they were in a vehicle awash in cash at 4:30 a.m. and didn’t like what the answer, Kaylor wrote.
“All three subjects provided statements that did not match and made little sense,” Kaylor said. A search of the vehicle turned up evidence that linked the men to the Lacey’s Place burglary, Kaylor said.
Decatur police detectives interviewed the suspects later and, this time, police said, they gave statements indicating they had “direct knowledge of and/or directly participated in, the burglary of Lacey’s Place.”
All three men were booked on preliminary charges of burglary, which are subject to review by the state's attorney's office. The suspects are now free after posting bond: $30,000 for Norman and $10,000 each for Antwain E. Johnson and Leonde D. Johnson. They are due to be arraigned in Macon County Circuit Court on Dec. 19.